Kristi Mogen’s Story – Fracking and Air Pollution in Douglas, WY

KristiMogenOn April 24, 2012 a nearby Chesapeake well suffered a blowout, sending a plume of vaporized chemicals into the air and forcing the  evacuation of Kristi’s community. Since then, Chesapeake has continued to pollute the air at the site, receiving a mere $1,000 fine from state regulators. This is Kristi’s story:

The mother of two daughters, one with epilepsy and a second on the autism spectrum, Kristi works hard to minimize her family’s exposure to chemicals. She grew up on a farm in South Dakota and now lives in Wyoming where her family’s grass-fed cattle herd and organic garden supply the family with plenty of fresh, healthy food, free of dangerous chemicals that could worsen her daughters’ conditions.

But on April 24, 2012, a nearby well that Chesapeake was drilling suffered a blowout, sending a plume of vaporized chemicals into the air. The family evacuated, covering themselves in protective clothing, hats, gloves, sunglasses and bandanas before driving away with the windows closed. Kristi’s years of hard work to protect her daughters from chemical exposure was undone in an instant. That afternoon, the family began getting nosebleeds. Kristi’s younger daughter suffered 29 straight days of nosebleeds, sometimes several times a day. Her husband’s blood tests revealed that he no longer had detectable levels of testosterone.

Since the blowout, Chesapeake has continued to vent and flare pollution into the air. Despite a community uproar, state regulators with the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC) have fined Chesapeake a mere $1,000. Prior to her experience with Chesapeake and the WOGCC, Kristi was a supporter of the oil and gas industry and thought that regulation of the industry should be left to the states. She doesn’t believe that anymore.

That is why she is taking her story to Washington, DC. “We need some federal regulations, regulations with teeth,” Kristi says. What spurs her to fight?  “It’s my farm girl grit, I guess. This is our way of life and they really messed it up. And I’m a mom. I take care of my family. That’s my job.”

Join us this Wednesday, May 22nd at the People’s Forum and hear Kristi’s powerful tale on her fight against fracking.

12-2pm, United Methodist Building